November 9, 2010

{Travel Tuesday} Plum in Oakland, CA

My husband missed the Coi dinner I enjoyed the last time I was in San Fran.  And even though he got to try many of Daniel Patterson's tasting at the Le Fooding event in NYC, I knew he would want to dine at his restaurant.  He suggested Chef Patterson's newer, more affordable restaurant Plum.  After the wonderful, intimate service (thanks to Chef Kate who took the time to chat and explain the dishes to us) we enjoyed on a lazy Sunday night, I was so happy he took me here.

Plum carries a small and accessible wine list.  The list includes food friendly options by the glass, such as the dry 2009 Copain 'Tous Ensemble' Rose and the fleshy, yet fruit forward, 2008 Unti Dry Creek Grenache.  We both enjoyed the house-made Ginger Pear soda ($2), because it was a refreshing cold drink without being syrupy sweet.
Artichoke Terrine ($10) topped with Andante dairy fresh cheese, chervil, black olive vinaigrette.  This terrine had good acidity and the fennel salad on top could be a dish on its own.  It was refreshing and adds to the depth of flavor of this dish.  This dish makes us want to make vegetable terrines at home now.
New Harvest Potatoes ($12) staffan's lardo, shallots, chanterelles, wild arugula.  Who doesn't like crisped lardo?  An earthy dish with the nice touch of the peppery arugula.  We would've liked the potatoes crisped a little more, however, the soft creamy texture of the potatoes still worked with the warmed lardo and mushrooms.
Our favorite dish of the night was the Slow-Cooked Farm Egg ($16) with chicken and jus, savory fried farro, fennel, carrot, and sprouts.  We loved this take on "fried rice".  The jus was not overly salted and the runny egg added that nice creamy richness. 
Roasted Pork ($18): warm salad of fall vegetables and greens (including kohlrabi and brussels sprouts), spicy squash puree, vadouvan vinaigrette.  A perfectly tender sous vide pork shoulder paired with fall veggies is a hearty meal for a blustery fall day in the Bay Area. 
Beef Cheek and Oxtail Burger ($15): Autumn pickles, topped with horseradish aoili (and minced fennel cooked on la plancha) and olive.  Baby fennel is a common theme throughout the menu and a lovely reminder of autumn.  The burger itself was rich, juicy, and messy.  So good!
After chatting with us about the desserts on the menu, Chef Kate insisted that we try a taste of her favorite one.
Milk Chocolate Cream (above was a complimentary taste, the regular larger dish is $9): tarragon, hazelnuts.  Being a chocoholic, I'm surprised we've never tried the chocolate/tarragon combination.  Loved it! The delicate tarragon (hint of licorice) balances the sweetness of the cream and completely made the dish.  It makes us feel like going through our parents' herb garden to flavor our chocolate desserts!
I loved the Roasted White Chocolate Parfait ($9) - it's the dessert made for people (like me) who don't like the overly sweet taste of white chocolate.  It was rich and crispy, and topped with fennel and huckleberries.  We completed the meal with a French press of Blue Bottle Coffee (at $3, cheaper than the spot we frequent at the Ferry Building)
Plum is located at 2214 Broadway in Oakland, CA.

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